A Picture is Worth 1000 Words: Teaching Science Communication with Graphical Abstract Assignments

Document Type


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Journal Title

Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

Publication Date



An important part of scientific training in undergraduate curriculum involves teaching students how to effectively communicate in science. Scientific writing and oral presentations are important parts of most science classes. The same cannot be said about a new and emerging aspect of many recent scientific articles: graphical abstracts. In recent years, many scientific journals have adopted graphical abstracts as a way to capture both the scientific audience and increase visibility on social media platforms. Graphical abstracts are becoming the norm for many journals; however, there is no equivalent training in undergraduate classes that teaches students the intricate skills of efficient graphical design. In this paper, we share our course design and discuss how students can be taught to design better experiments and excel in communicating their research findings through graphical abstracts.


The definitive article is located on the website of the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education at: https://journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/jmbe.00208-22.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2023 Agrawal and Ulrich.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial - No Derivatives 4.0 International license.